Falmouth
Beaches

See the best of Falmouth's beaches in this walk that starts at Maenporth and heads along Swanpool and Gyllyngvase Beach.

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Falmouth Beaches

The walk starts at Maenporth Beach, a lovely sheltered cove just to the south of Falmouth.


Have a coffee at the beach café before you go or if it’s a special occasion, treat yourself to lunch at The Cove. 

When you’re ready to begin, head to the beach café and pick up the coast path behind it. Quite quickly the path rises until you’re on the cliffs with stunning views back along the coast – on a clear day you can see The Lizard.

Below you on the rocks, look out for the remains of the Ben Asdale, sadly wrecked on a wild winter’s night in 1978. 

When you reach Swanpool, you can take a detour round the nature reserve, an SSSI that is home to swans and ducks.

It is also the only place in the UK where you can find Trembling Sea Mat, a microscopic animal that thrives in brackish waters. 

Leaving Swanpool, pick up the coast path again and head towards Gyllyngvase. Ahead of you, Falmouth town, Pendennis Castle and St Anthony’s Head and the lighthouse will start to come into view, and soon you’ll reach the Blue Flag Gyllyngvase Beach.

Then return to Maenporth.

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Walk Info

Start point

Maenporth

Distance

2.5 miles

Duration

1.5 hours plus time for lunch, a cream tea or a dip in the pool at St Michael's Hotel & Spa.

Grading

Easy

End point

St Michael's Hotel & Spa

On the way...

Maenporth Beach. The Cove. Swanpool Beach. Elemental Watersports Centre. Gyllynvase Becah. St Michael's Hotel & Spa.

More Information

Starting from Maenporth beach it is worth exploring the beach and especially at low tide where small caves are accessible. One can safely rock pool here but be aware that with the beach at your back there is a strong current out to the right at very low tide. Around the corner to the left is the 1978 wreck of the fishing vessel the Ben Asdale, which foundered in a blizzard with the loss of 3 lives whilst 11 were saved. 

Follow the path behind the Beach café uphill. There are great views of the Helford River and the Lizard Peninsula. Keep an eye out for basking sharks and seals up here. Eventually after 30 minutes one gets to a view of Swanpool. There is a monument to the Home guard who played an important part in the war effort. Falmouth is also in view as is the whole of Swanpool Nature Reserve.

Swanpool is a special place and worth walking around. It is one of only 11 brackish lagoons in Britain and was cut off from the sea by a shingle bar around the time of the last ice age. It is also the only home in Britain to the Trembling Sea Mat, which is a collection of tiny primitive animals 1-2mm in size that cling together and filter feed. Birds found here in numbers include the Tufted duck, Moorhen, Mallards, Coot and the ubiquitous Swan.

Falmouth is only a 15 minutes stroll from here. Go to the end of the beach to find the coast path which leads on to Gyllyngvase Beach. At low tide rock pooling at its best is found all along the Falmouth sea front.

Public transport information 

There are currently no bus services to Maenporth. 

Nearest Toilets and Nearest Disabled Toilets

Public toilets at all three beaches.

Nearest Car parks and Nearest Car Parks with disabled provision

Car parks at all beaches.

Nearest refreshments 

On all three beaches there are cafés and the Cove Restaurant at Maenporth with the Gylly café and St Michael’s hotel at Gyllyngvase Beach.